It snowed yesterday evening through the wee hours this morning and, though there can’t be more than 3 inches on the ground, it wreaked havoc on life as we know it in Madrid. Result? Esperanza Aguirre, beloved president of the Comunidad de Madrid, canceled school.
When I went to bed last night and the snow was still falling and sticking I guessed something like this would have to happen. The Monday before winter break was also a snowy mess, but I had a second period substitution and slogged my way into school only to spend the morning entertaining the kids with games and a movie before they sent everyone (well, the few of us there) home. It hadn’t seemed like much snow that time, and was actually quite a slushy mess because it started to rain, but Madrid is completely unprepared for situations like this. I didn’t see a single plow or salt truck that day.
This time I was prepared for Madrid’s utter un-preparedness and, since I normally go in a bit later on Mondays, texted a coworker upon waking up. She said she’d gotten into school without a problem, so, disappointed but carrying on with my routine, I laced up my running shoes and went for a run in relative snowy solitude in the Retiro (gorgeous in white).
By chance I glanced at my email before hopping into the shower and saw a friend had mentioned that school was canceled in much of Madrid. I checked my school email and, indeed, class had been canceled today, though the facility was open to take care of the kids that did make it. I called my direct boss who told me that there were plenty of teachers there and they would all go home at lunch time anyway—no need for me to go in.
So I joined the hordes of camera-armed, hiking boot-clad unusually smiley madrileños and headed to the Retiro.